Insurance claims – honesty is the best policy | Cartrack

Insurance claims – honesty is the best policy

28 July 2020

You’ve finally got that insurance policy that suits your pocket and your lifestyle, and for a while all goes well. Suddenly you’re in an accident, or something is stolen out of your car, or even worse, your car is stolen and you now you have to put your selected insurer’s claim process to the test. 

Of course, your best bet is to do all the right things up front – lock and check your car doors, put valuables in the boot, don’t use your phone while driving, drive within the speed limit, wear your seat belt, and all those good things. 

But life happens and sometimes when you or someone else forgets to do one or more of these things, it results in damage or loss and an insurance claim. It’s at this time that honesty is your best policy, with everyone, from the police to your insurance company, your mom, dad, spouse, boss or whoever else you are accountable to.

Try to remember the facts 
Whether your car has been stolen or burgled or involved in an accident, try to remember as many facts surrounding the occurrence as possible. If your car has been hijacked or stolen, you need to alert the police and your tracking company if you have one. The sooner you alert the recovery team, the faster they can get your car back, and hopefully with no damage. 

During a hijacking, or even afterwards, it is not easy to recall all the facts. Once the shock has worn off, take some time to make a list of what you remember, things like what the hijackers were wearing including shoes, any scars, accents and more could be important, even the smallest details can provide the biggest clue. 

Similarly, if you are involved in an accident, no matter how minor, try to remember details such as the road surface and markings, weather, lighting and directions. Use your phone to take photos of everything, including the road from every angle, the damage to all vehicles involved, driver’s and vehicle licence. If a public transport vehicle was involved, remember to take a photo of the Public Driver’s Permit. 

When reporting either a theft or accident to your insurer, stick to what you know. If you have a tracking device with telematics data, you can ask your tracking company to reconstruct the accident for you. Sometimes your insurer will do this anyway, especially if they have a partnership with a tracking and telematics company.  

Don’t assume anything or accuse anyone. Your insurance company will conduct an assessment based on the evidence you provide, as well as that of the telematics data if such is available. Based on this they will let you know what the outcome is. 

Also, don’t claim for something that didn’t happen. For example, if a car crashed into the back of your car, you can’t claim for scratch on the driver’s side door. Insurance companies conduct very thorough assessments and will often detect whether parts of the claim are justified or not.  

What to do if a claim is declined
Despite your best efforts, your insurance company may choose to decline your claim. It is your right to dispute such, but you need to follow the correct steps. First, find out from your insurer why they declined your claim and see if you can get them to review the facts. If they continue to decline, you can use their internal dispute resolution channel and as final resort, approach the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance – just remember to have all your facts in place before speaking to the Ombud. 

In closing, remember that having an insurance policy in place is to protect you financially if an investment is damaged or lost . And, the best way to do that is ensure that protection is to follow the guidelines prescribed by your insurance company in the policy books, if there is anything you don’t understand, simply contact them for a quick explanation. 

Don’t forget when researching what insure you should choose, check that they have a partnership with a superior tracking and telematics company such as Cartrack.  

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